High in the mountains at Bad Gastein - Munich to Paris the Long Way Round - CycleBlaze

July 30, 2019

High in the mountains at Bad Gastein

It certainly was a climb getting up here

As expected from the quality of the hotel we were staying in the meal last night was delicious.

This photo took all of one wall in our room
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We slept well and woke to a fine but cloudy day thankfully in the mid twenties so they were ideal conditions for cycling.  Two things had been concerning me about todays ride.  Firstly we had to go through a 1.5km length tunnel on a cycle track separated by a guard rail from cars and secondly I knew that the final climb into Bad Gastein was particularly vicious 

We set out on a lovely track beside the river, it was easy cycling except for a bit of trouble getting through St Johann and we seemed to very soon get to Schwarzach.  Here I had a cunning plan. I knew that a train went from here to Dorfgastein ever two hours and that they took bikes, subject to reservations.  We found the station but no luck all the bike spaces had been reserved.  Never mind we spotted a taxi van in the parking lot - this would take us and our bikes by road to Dorfgastein so off we went.  Actually when we came to the treaded tunnel it really looked pretty benign and we could have done it but never mind

A fish ladder beside a dam
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Removing the debris from yesterdays flood
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It suprises me that so many people still wear traditional dress
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Across the river
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We reach the station
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At Dorfgastein we were high up in a little mountain village .  Chair lifts went up from the Main Street and we enjoyed the ambiance as we drank our coffee.  From here on the countryside was glorious, it really was high in the mountains.  There were no cows in the fields though we thought that they must be high up in their summer pastures.  The track was lovely and very gentle, there were lots of cyclists using it.  We came to the glorious little village of  Bad Hofgastein and stopped for lunch.  We were getting nearer to the dreaded climb up into Bad Gastein. 

The view as we drink coffee
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Flowers everywhere
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It always impresses us that in Austria even small places provide occupation
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Hay storage
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Ken has never seen such a tractor before. It is 1962, aircooled V twin diesel made in Vienna _ it seems the company closed in about 1968
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It all seemed so easy as we tootled along  beside the little river then we turned a corner and it looked as if it was going up vertically, that is what we had to do.  Bad Gastein is situated in a remote valley on the Gastein Ache creek.  The main centre is in a spectacular position above the impressive waterfall and this is where our hotel is.  Thermal waters were discovered and it became an extremely fashionable  resort for the heads of nations and the rich and famous to come and take the waters in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  Many spectacular ‘Belle Epoch’ hotels were built and we taking advantage of one right by the falls.  Nowadays it is a centre of skiing and at this time of the year for walkers and people just enjoying the remarkable little town.

Bad Hofgastein where we stopped for lunch
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We entered the town over that bridge
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It is spectacular
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Looking down from where we came
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Back to the ride.  Yes it was awful, Ken on his basic bike had to push it most of the way.  For me with my electric assist it proved too much at one point, Ken ended up pushing my bike and a charming Italian gentleman helped me on my way.  The road runs out at Bockstein and from there  everyone including cars have to take an 11minute shuttle to the other side of the mountain.  From there it is all downhill to Venice!

Today's ride: 41 km (25 miles)
Total: 296 km (184 miles)

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Suzanne GibsonYay, you now have the dreaded climb over with! But Gastein is beautiful, isn't it.
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